Air Fryer chicken thighs are juicy like deep fried chicken, but they’re easy to make and healthy, too. Make this recipe for dinner tonight using only pantry spices and a little oil- such a crowd pleaser! This post contains affiliate links for products I’m obsessed with.
Thanks to the invention of the air fryer, there’s no longer a need to deep-fry your favorite fried foods. You can have the flavor and crispiness of frying, without all of the oil, and no oil splatter to clean up. It’s fantastic!
INGREDIENT NOTES + SUBSTITUTIONS
There are plenty of reasons to love this air fried chicken thighs recipe. My favorite reason is that it requires just seven ingredients, and 5 of them are spices for the chicken dry rub.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – If you prefer white meat, you can use boneless skinless breasts or tenderloins instead.
- Olive oil – You’ll only use a tiny bit of this. Any other liquid cooking oil, or even non-stick cooking spray will also work.
DRY RUB FOR CHICKEN THIGHS
Simple pantry spices are all you need here. I use a combination of the following:
- garlic powder
- chili powder
- smoked paprika or regular paprika
- brown sugar or coconut sugar
- kosher salt and black pepper
If you have a different dry rub blend that you prefer, you can definitely use it. For a spicy kick, add a pinch of cayenne. Or, use an Italian seasoning blend for a delicious Italian chicken dinner! We also love this with lemon pepper seasoning.
How to make air fryer chicken thighs
The air fried chicken thighs are gluten and dairy free, low carb, and Whole30 compatible (just omit the brown sugar). Meals don’t get much healthier than this one!
Oh, and another bonus… from fryer to plate, this air fryer recipe takes just 30 minutes to make.
- PREHEAT THE AIR FRYER
It takes a few minutes to preheat the fryer, so it’s best to do this before you start prepping the recipe.
- TENDERIZE THE CHICKEN
Chicken thighs almost always have an uneven thickness. Use the flat end of a meat mallet to gently flatten them to an even thickness. This ensures that the thighs will cook evenly.
After tenderizing, use paper towels to dry the surface of the thighs. This will help the spice rub stick to the meat.
- MAKE AND APPLY DRY RUB FOR CHICKEN
If you aren’t using a premade spice blend, just measure your spices into a small bowl and mix together.
Next, use a basting brush or non-stick spray to apply a light coating of oil onto the thighs.
Then, sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the spices.
- FRY, COOL, AND SERVE
Be sure to place the thighs into the fryer basket in an even layer – avoid overlapping any pieces but you can squish them together.
How long to air fry chicken thighs
The total cooking time may vary by a couple of minutes, depending on the brand of air fryer you use. On average, it takes 16 to 20 minutes.
HOW TO KNOW WHEN CHICKEN IS COOKED
There is just one way to know for sure that your meal is cooked properly, and that is by measuring the internal temperature of each piece using a meat thermometer.
Poultry is safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 165° F. I actually prefer my chicken thighs cooked a little extra, though, but the chicken will continue to cook for a couple of minutes after you remove it from the fryer. This is known as carryover cooking. That’s why it’s important to let your meat rest for a few minutes before serving.
What should I serve with these Air Fryer Chicken Thighs?
I love these Chicken Thighs for a quick and easy dinner because they legit pair with basically anything! Some of our fave side dishes are:
I also LOVE this chicken with my Healthy Alfredo Sauce, some noodles, and steam broccoli! It’s one of my favorite combinations!
Looking for more Air Fryer Chicken Recipes? Check these out:
Healthy Chicken Parmesan | The Foodie and The Fix
Cilantro Lime Air Fryer Chicken Thighs | Stay Snatched
New to Air Frying? Check out my The BEST Healthy Air Fryer Recipes post for tons of recipe ideas!Print
Air Fryer chicken thighs are juicy like deep fried chicken, but they’re easy to make and healthy, too. Make this recipe for dinner tonight!
1/2 tsp salt
1 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
sprinkle of pepper
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp olive oil or olive oil cooking oil spray
- Preheat your air fryer to 380 degrees.
- Use a meat tenderizer to pound any thick parts of the chicken thigh so that they are as close to uniform thickness as possible.
- Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and brush each piece with olive oil or olive oil spray.
- Combine seasonings in a small bowl and sprinkle half the seasoning mixture evenly over the chicken thighs. Turn thighs over and evenly sprinkle remaining seasoning mixture on top. Place chicken thighs in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Fry in the preheated air fryer until chicken is golden and juices run clear, about 18-20 minutes, turning halfway. A digital meat thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F.
**See notes for Oven Directions
**To cook these chicken thighs in the oven, follow steps above, then preheat your oven to 425. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil and cook for 25 minutes or until golden and juices run clear.
21 Day Fix Containers: 1 RED, 1/2 sweetener tsp for 4-5oz of chicken
WW: Green, Blue, and Purple – 3 points (per serving)
- Serving Size: 4-5 oz. of chicken
Keywords: air fryer chicken thighs, air fried chicken thighs, dry rub for chicken thighs, air fryer recipe